I came home for winter break from Bob Jones University at the end of my first semester of my sophomore year. It was mid-December of 2012. It was time to prepare for Christmas for the family and get through the holiday, which we did. One of the things that took place while I was on winter break was surprising my nephew Damian with the fact that I was home. This led to him staying over at my house for multiple nights and me taking care of him. One night in particular his parents, Dawn and Bobby, were fighting rather loudly and one of them called my mom. It was keeping Damian awake past his bedtime so my mom and I went to go pick him up and take him to our house so that he would be able to sleep while they had their fight. After that he continued to stay with us, all the while me taking care of him and basically taking him everywhere we went. During this time, there was repeated drama between Dawn and Bobby and the idea of divorce came up between them. Dawn and Bobby had not paid their rent and were getting evicted from their place and that was part of their fighting. Shortly after Christmas, the drama came to a head.
December 29, 2012. My mom and I went over to Dawn and Bobby's apartment to help Dawn with getting some things and maybe some packing. My mom was appalled at how the apartment looked. During this time Bobby came back and the yelling and screaming began. Bobby ended up punching a picture and shattering the glass of the picture all over the floor. The cops were called. They told us if he came back to have us call them. Then the neighbors got involved when the argument was taken outside. Eventually, we all migrated into the neighbor's apartment in their living room where everyone was arguing. I was trying to be the peacemaker for everyone as were the neighbors. What we were doing wasn't working. Eventually, my mom got so offended by the way she was being treated that she left in her car, saying she was not going to be yelled at. I did not follow but tried to stay to continue to help the situation. After a bit of time, I received a call from my dad and when I answered he screamed at me over the phone to come home now. Then I received a text from my dad in all caps demanding that I come home immediately along with some threats and things like that. I left at that moment. Dawn and the neighbors followed so that they could pick up Damian because they knew at that moment that my dad was angry. When I arrived home all hell broke loose.
Dawn immediately grabbed Damian and his backpack and removed him from the house. My dad immediately started screaming at me to pack my stuff and get the hell out of his house. I ran upstairs to the room I was staying in (I no longer actually had a room at the house). My mom tried to pacify him and tried to quiet him down but he was so angry nothing she did was going to change anything. He screamed "No. I love you and I love Zach but I do not love her! She is not my daughter!" I immediately started texting my friends from church asking if I could come stay with them and they said I could. They offered to come get me and I said no, that I would go to church the following day and leave with them. My mom came upstairs as I was crying and tried to act like everything was okay and tried to pacify me. She tried to justify my dad's actions. She kept trying to touch me and hug me and I kept trying to get away from her and she would not get away from me. I kept telling her to back up and leave me alone. Eventually I gave her a little push because I couldn't stand her being in my space anymore. When she responded with something like "don't push me" my dad immediately screamed "oh you want to push your mom? Do I need to call the cops and tell them you pushed your mother? Do you want to get arrested for violence? Don't you dare push my wife" and so on. My mom again tried to tell him to stop but he wouldn't. Eventually she left the room and I went straight to packing up my stuff. I packed up all my clothes and personal items that I had, which really wasn’t much since most of it was away at college. Then I went to bed.
The next morning I got up and started getting ready for church. I finished packing what I needed to pack. My mom came in my room early and told me she wanted to figure this out. She wanted to be the peacemaker. But the damage had been done. I said no, grabbed my stuff and put it in the car. We went to church. On the drive to church, she kept trying to grab my arm and touch me, trying to beg and plead at me to talk to her. I wouldn’t. At church, my mom and I both began talking to people, each of us telling our sides of the story. My mom making me look like a bad person and saying how she was trying to fix it but I wouldn’t let her and me trying to explain how much damage had been done. I went upstairs to the youth room for Sunday school. At the end of Sunday school, my mom came into the youth room. She once again was trying to “fix” everything. My youth pastor decided to try to step in the middle and be of help. It only made the situation worse. He proceeded to listen to my mom say her piece about it and she misconstrued the whole thing, once again making me look like a horrible child. I had already told my youth pastor what my dad had said the previous night. My youth pastor tried to explain to my mom that I was hurt about the things said and that I needed space, to not latch on to me like she kept trying to do. Then he proceeded to lecture me about how he told us over and over again to obey our parents and why had I not done that. After a while, it ended in nothing be done so we all just went into service. At the end of service, I got my stuff out of my mom’s car and transferred it to the people’s house that I was going to stay at and left with them. I stayed at their house for the remainder of my Christmas break. During that time, I saw my mom twice. Once when she changed my car over into my name at the DMV. The other time was when I agreed to talk to her at a McDonalds. It lasted 5 minutes because all she did was try to justify what my dad did and I wasn’t going to hear it. So I left. I saw my nephew and his family over the remainder of break a couple times and then I flew back to South Carolina. Where a whole new level of hell met me.